We get lucky once in a while. We were working at a conference just days ago, and we were able to stay in a small bed-and-breakfast instead of the conference hotel. The daily rate for lodging at the BnB was half the conference hotel, though we had to rent a car to avoid the taxis and to make make our planning more flexible. The BnB also had free WiFi that actually worked, and there's another $15 saved each day.
All in all, it was a good decision to avoid the conference hotel. It usually is, but it's often hard to do.
In this instance, the BnB had a congenial host working the early day shift. He made sure breakfast worked out like it should. He arranged lunch deliveries. He had step and fetch refined to an art, all the while maintaining a convivial facade that rivaled Stephen Colbert in it's impenetrability, and he did all this without being intrusive, or worse, annoying.
He made my week in the BnB a delight, and that, in turn, made our work all the more efficient and effective. I'd send him some money, and I did leave daily tips to be shared among the staff, but a card will have to do until I’m there again for another visit.